Book Title:
Reign the Earth
Book Author:
A. C. Gaughen
Book Series:
The Elementae, #1
Page Count:
Publishing Date:
January 30th, 2018
Date Read:
February 20th, 2018
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!


Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for peace. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bonelands.

But she soon learns that her husband, Calix, is motivated only by his desire to exterminate the Elementae—mystical people who can control earth, wind, air, and fire. Even more unsettling are Shalia’s feelings for her husband’s brother, which unleash a power over the earth she never knew she possessed—a power that could get her killed. As rumors of a rebellion against Calix spread, Shalia must choose between the last chance for peace and her own future as an Elementae.

This intense, richly drawn high-fantasy by the author of Scarlet will hold readers spellbound.

My Review

I had head nothing but the absolute best things about Reign the Earth, and all the hype that had been building up around the book really had me excited to read it.  I was excited for the chance to read a book that had a fantastic story and world building that would completely blow me away, not to mention a main character who could hold her own and stand up for what she believed in.

So imagine my disappointment when once again, a really hyped up book just kind of let me down and was sort of mediocre in my eyes.  Imagine my anger at the abuse that the main character suffered at the hands of her husband.  Yeah.

Oh how I wanted to love Reign the Earth.  I wanted it to be one of those books that I picked up and was completely unable to put down, but that wasn’t the case.  In fact, once I started reading this, I found that I put it down a few times…and I even read three or four books in between finishing it.

Trigger Warning: Abuse

I wanted to write this big glowing review about this book, but first off, I didn’t love it, and second off, it made me angrier than I have been at a book in a long time.  I wanted to include some beautiful quotes and talk about how great the overall premise for the novel was (because yes, the overall premise of this book was incredible, and I believe that it could have been so much better had the main character not been a total idiot and her husband not abuse her every ten seconds).  I was even going to give this 3 stars because of the beautiful writing, but I can’t.  I can’t support this novel.  At all.  Part of me didn’t even want to review it for this reason, but I wanted to share this with others, so I am.

I want to say that maybe the problem wasn’t Reign the Earth, but maybe it was me  Maybe I just couldn’t connect with the characters for whatever reason or maybe the story was a bit too much for me to really pay attention to, but I can honestly say that nope, it wasn’t me this time around.  Once I got to the very first part of the book in which the main character, Shalia, was abused by Calix, her new husband, I was done.  Why the need for both physical and emotional abuse here?  It served no purpose to the overall story, and could have been written without even mentioning anything abusive even one time.  Sure, it made Shalia fear Calix, but did that truthfully need to be a major part of this book?  Couldn’t it have been something like Shalia being a strong-willed and independent woman who sought peace but didn’t stand for the emotional and physical abuse from her husband, cowering each time he came near her, and being submissive to him in all ways?  We’re trying to set a good example for today’s young women, so why are we feeding this kind of thing to them?  That it’s necessary to stay with someone who hurts you because it will benefit others?


Absolutely not.

If you fear the person you are with, you get yourself OUT of that situation right away, you don’t sit there and take it because you believe it is for the greater good of everyone else.

This is harmful and damaging to women everywhere, I’m sorry.

And to feel the need to be rescued by another man?  Please.

I thought this was going to be a story about being independent and strong and paving the way for a peaceful life.  But it wasn’t that at all.

Okay, I could seriously rant about this all day, and while I could say hey, I bet you get this, the truth is, apparently some people think this kind of thing is okay, and it’s not.  STOP WRITING BOOKS ABOUT ABUSE THAT TRY TO JUSTIFY IT AND MAKE IT OKAY.

Okay.  I’m done.

Bottom line:  This book?  I wouldn’t recommend it.  Especially if abuse (in either physical or emotional form) could possibly be a trigger for you.  It conveys harmful messages that can be damaging and give off the wrong idea.

1 stars
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12 Responses to Reign the Earth by A. C. Gaughen

  1. Danielle Hammelef says:

    Thank you for this review! I will not be reading this book. Abuse is never tolerated and can never be justified.

  2. Brittany says:

    I’m sorry that this one didn’t work out for you, I haven’t read it in full yet. There was definitely a lot of abuse in the section I did read though…

    Thanks for sharing,
    ~Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles

    • Kelly says:

      I thought it might just be a one time thing, but it seems to get worse as the book goes on. Physical abuse like this just isn’t something I can look past, especially in a book geared toward young adults in today’s society.

  3. Raven says:

    Great honest review! I’m sorry this book didn’t work out for you! I recently finished it and I didn’t like the abuse either but I did enjoy the story and the characters. I hope you enjoy your next read! 🙂
    Raven recently posted…By a Charm and a Curse By Jaime Questell [Review]My Profile

    • Kelly says:

      I’m glad you were able to enjoy the story and the characters despite the abuse issue the book had going on. I do agree about the story being something that was a bit different and really interesting!

  4. Rebecca says:

    Oh no. I haven’t read this one yet but I’ve seen the mad hype and I added it to my to-read list. I was pretty excited about it. Sorry that it was such a massive let down – and the issues, bummer! I will keep these thoughts in mind if I come across it. Thanks!

    • Kelly says:

      I’ve seen a lot of great reviews for this and I honestly wasn’t sure how everyone seemed to look past all the abuse in the book, but I guess I just couldn’t. Like I said, it did have an interesting storyline, and I think it could have been an amazing read otherwise!

  5. Oh wow, thanks so much for the warnings about this book. That does not sound like my kind of read at all.

  6. I liked the book because I was fore-warned about the abuse and how it all happens, but going in I would’ve been so uncomfortable without knowing it. Thanks for writing this review Kelly, it’s so important!

    • Kelly says:

      I’m glad that you were able to know what was coming before you started reading – that probably would have helped prepare so that you could actually enjoy the book!

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